Even with all the benefits air charter provides, it is also true that not all air charter operators will meet your specific wants and needs. You must become an educated air charter consumer. A general understanding of what questions to ask and what answers to expect will assist you in your effort to choose a safe and reputable charter operator - one that will provide the aircraft and service level you require and deserve.
Charter Safety Statistics Charter companies and pilots are certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before they are allowed to fly. Thereafter, their operations are, at FAA's discretion and within its resources, subject to constant oversight under rigid safety regulations. This is the same model used by the FAA to oversee airline safety.
Obtaining a charter operator's certificate is a time-consuming, thorough procedure, sometimes taking up to a year. The process for certification is overseen by the FAA, and is subject to unannounced safety spot checks by FAA officials. Charter company operations manuals are required by the FAA, and must be approved by FAA officials. FAA staff routinely audit charter operators' records, which can also be subject to periodic safety review by independent safety auditors.
Charter pilot qualifications are comparable to those for commercial airline pilots, including minimums for training and flight-time experience. The facilities that conduct safety training programs for charter pilots are held to the same rigorous standards as the centers that train airline pilots. And, the requirements for ensuring that charter pilots fly in safe weather conditions are comparable to - and at times more stringent than - those for the scheduled airlines.